It was a long drive from Leamington, Ontario to Shannonville Motorsports Park for Christian Papp and family, but following a near-perfect weekend at the KartStars Canadian National Championships, the youngster is heading home with three first-place trophies and memories of a weekend he will never forget.
Starting on Saturday morning, Papp (Intrepid Kart) took to the track in both Mini Rok and KartStars Cadet, a bonus class for the cadet racers this weekend. He blistered off hot laps in both Qualifying sessions to sweep the Jiffy Lube Fast Qualifier awards and kickoff his weekend in the best possible positions.
Working his way through the heat races in Mini Rok, Papp stayed on top throughout the day while he did the same in the KartStars Cadet.
With only one Final to focus on in the afternoon, Papp lined up alongside Quinn Tyers (Intrepid Kart) for the start of the KartStars Cadet race.
With a push from Ethan Chan (Intrepid Kart), Papp got into the early lead why Tyers slipped back to fourth as Rocco Simone (Intrepid Kart) also found his way by on the opening lap.
Once out front, Papp’s pace was relentless and he pulled away from the chasing pack lap after lap. Completing the ten-lap Final, he crossed the finish line 2.8 seconds ahead of second place.
Simone did the best he could to keep up with Papp, but after passing Chan at halfway, the leader was out of reach and he had to settle for second place, while Tyers also made his way by Chan to regain a podium finish. Chan had to settle for fourth while Noah Landry completed the top-five.
KartStars Canada National Championship – KartStars Cadet Final Results
|9||Leo Da Silva||23.011|
|12||Melville Dos Santos||32.197|
|18||Aiden Kishun||3 laps|
Back on Sunday and looking for more KartStars bears, Papp made it three for three in Qualifying as he put in a lap that was 0.753 seconds quicker than his closest competitor in Briggs Cadet.
There were only two races that Papp didn’t take the win in, and they came on Sunday. The third and final heat race in Mini Rok saw Jordan Di Leo (Intrepid Kart) beat Papp to the finish, while an impressive drive from Quinn Tyers in the Briggs Cadet PreFinal earned him the pole position for the Final.
The first Final of the day for the cadet racers was Mini Rok.
Papp and Simone started on the front row and a push from Mayer Deonarine (Exprit Kart) helped put Papp into the lead and Simone back to third.
The battle was on right away with Deonarine pressuring Papp for the race lead, with Simone in check, while Di Leo was moving forward fast after starting at the rear.
Deonarine moved into the lead on lap three, but it only lasted a lap as Papp drafted back by him the next time down the main straight.
The next time by, Simone did the same to Deonarine, setting him back to third and allowing Papp to open up a small gap.
Continuing his charge from the rear, Di Leo caught up to Simone with three laps to go and pull out to pass on the straight, to move into second place. Trying his best to catch the leader, Papp was just too fast and too far out front and when the checkered flag flew, Papp was crowned the Mini Rok KartStars National Champion and earned himself a ticket to the Rok Cup SuperFinal in Italy.
Di Leo ended up as vice-champion while Deonarine moved back by Simone before the finish to earn himself a podium spot.
KartStars Canada National Championship – Mini Rok Final Results
|2||Jordan Di Leo||1.565|
|10||Niko Picerno||9 laps|
After a few blown starts, the Briggs Cadet racers finally got the green flag to race in their Final.
Tyers held the early advantage while Chan put the pressure on Papp.
Settling in, Papp waited for his moment to pull out and pass Chan on the main straight and that came on lap four. Wasting no time, he pulled off the same pass on Tyers a lap later and the race was back in his hands.
Pulling away by just over a second in the remaining four laps, Papp was back in victory lane for the third time, joined by Tyers and Decklan Deonarine (Exprit Kart), who came from seventh on the grid to the final podium step.
After having trouble on the pace lap of the PreFinal where his engine shut off, Simone had to surrender his front-row starting spot and instead started from the rear of the grid once he got re-fired. He climbed up through the pack in that PreFinal and continued to climb in the Final to finish fourth, while Chan slipped back to fifth.
KartStars Canada National Championship – Briggs Cadet Final Results
|7||Leo Da Silva||9.973|
|16||Melville Dos Santos||39.843|
|18||Aiden Kishun||1 lap|